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$5 trout stamp takes next step

A proposal for a single trout and salmon stamp, costing $5, is part of a new fishing regulations package sent to the state’s attorney general for review.

Once the attorney general completes review of the proposal, it will be submitted to the Legislative Regulation Review Committee for review.

The new proposal would establish a single trout and salmon stamp, which each year would cost $5. The original proposal called for a $5 trout stamp, a $10 salmon stamp, and a $12 combination stamp. After receiving online comments objecting to the fee, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection opted to proceed with one $5 stamp.

All funds from the sale of the stamp, under state and federal law, will go toward hunting and fishing activities in Connecticut, including maintaining full production at three fish hatcheries in the state. DEEP officials held their earlier estimate of $300,000 in additional revenue, based on 60,000 trout and salmon anglers.

All anglers 16 years of age and older fishing for any species in Trout Management Areas, Wild Trout Management Areas and Trout Parks established in Section 26-112-46 of the Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies; all anglers 16 years of age and older fishing for any species in affected portions (the designated “Broodstock Areas”) of the Shetucket River and Naugatuck River; and any anglers 16 years of age and older wishing to keep trout, kokanee or broodstock Atlantic salmon (where fishing for Atlantic salmon is allowed) they’ve caught anywhere throughout the state would be required to purchase a trout stamp.

The new regulations would also extend the Mill River Wild Trout Management Area in Easton and Fairfield from upstream of the first bridge crossing below Easton Reservoir (South Park Avenue) to the Merritt Parkway, where it meets the existing Trout Management Area that continues to Lake Mohegan. Signs indicate which parts of the river are in the WTMA and which in TMA.

Click here to read the full list of amendments to the regulations.

Click here to read the DEEP’s explanatory statement.

Click here to read the notice of decision.

More than $1,000 donated for Mill River

Thanks to the support of our members and community, the Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited raised more than $1,000 in additional funding for work to restore the Mill River at the Fairfield-Easton border along Congress Street through the Embrace a Stream Challenge, presented by Trout Unlimited and Orvis.

This combined with the $670 previously awarded will allow us to complete the project in the spring of 2018.

Working closely with the Town of Fairfield Conservation Department, we have reduced the knotweed problem and planted hundreds of native trees and bushes.

A regulation change is pending at the state level which would make the area where work is being done a Wild Trout Management Area. By increasing the depth of the river along Congress Street the river will better host the wild trout population.

In the spring we will use these funds to anchor discarded Christmas trees to the banks, where the branches will trap sediment and help form new, natural banks. The riverbanks that accumulate there will reroute the Mill River to its original track, and create better habitat for the native trout.

We invite the community to join us in the spring to help with the tree anchoring. Members and nonmembers are invited to join us at our monthly meetings, fishing outings and conservation events. You can follow us on Facebook or find about upcoming events at our website http://www.nutmegtrout.org and on MeetUp.

Rich Rosen

President

Nutmeg Trout Unlimited Chapter 217

Help win funds to fix Mill River

Local donors can help direct more money to restoration on the Mill River this week.

The Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited, a local, volunteer-led nonprofit dedicated to improving and restoring local rivers and streams, has been entered in the Embrace A Stream Challenge, a new online contest sponsored by Orvis and Trout Unlimited. From Nov. 6-12, the chapter has a chance to win its share of $50,000 in cash prizes to help fund the Mill River Conifer Revetment Project, an initiative to restore the Mill River in Fairfield County.

In early October, the Nutmeg Chapter received an $670 grant from the Embrace A Stream program to support this project, and now has a chance to win additional funds to complete the work.

To win, the chapter needs the help of its members, volunteers and community residents. From Nov. 6-12, anyone who visits www.embraceastream.org and makes a donation of as little as $10 to support the chapter’s work will help it unlock prizes ranging from $250 to $5,000. The chapter is competing in this contest with more than 40 other Trout Unlimited chapters from across the country.

“We’re excited to have the chance to raise even more money to restore and improve the Mill River in the Embrace A Stream Challenge,” said Rich Rosen, Nutmeg Chapter president. “But we need the help of all of our community members to win. If you care about clean water, and share our love for the Mill River, please help our more than 300 local members and volunteers by donating to this important project.”

The Mill River Conifer Revetment Project will focus on a section of stream that runs along Congress Street in Fairfield, where the river is more than 40 feet wide in some places, when it should average 15 feet. We will narrow the stream channel and stabilize the banks using conifer revetments to prevent future erosion and ensure that the stream at the site and downstream can support excellent trout habitat. Mill River is currently home to some of the highest densities of wild and native trout in the state, but we believe that the fishery can support even more trout with habitat improvement.

Embrace A Stream is a matching grant program administered by Trout Unlimited that provides funds to local chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation. Since its inception in 1975, the grant program has funded more than 1,000 individual projects for a total of $4.4 million in direct cash grants. Local chapters and councils contributed an additional $13 million in cash and in-kind services to EAS funded projects, for a total investment of more than $17 million. The Embrace A Stream Challenge is a new national online contest sponsored by Orvis and Trout Unlimited to connect people who care with a chance to support improvements to the rivers and streams in their communities.

“This year, more than 40 local Trout Unlimited chapters from across the country have brought forward plans to take care of the rivers that they love to fish,” said Russ Meyer, chair of the Embrace A Stream grants committee, a group of Trout Unlimited volunteers who review and approve all grant applications. “The Embrace A Stream Challenge gives everyone in your community the chance to join us in supporting this important local project.”

Grant to help restore Mill River

The Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited has received a grant for restoration of the Mill River and been entered in the Embrace A Stream Challenge, a new online contest sponsored by Orvis and Trout Unlimited. From Nov. 6-12, the chapter has a chance to win its share of $50,000 in cash prizes to help fund the Mill River Conifer Revetment Project, an initiative to restore the Mill River in Fairfield County.

In early October, the Nutmeg Chapter received an $670 grant from the Embrace A Stream program to support removal of invasive species and shoring up of the banks of the Mill River near the Easton-Fairfield border, along Congress Street in Fairfield.

From Nov. 6-12, anyone who visits embraceastream.org and makes a donation of as little as $10 to support Nutmeg TU’s work will help it unlock prizes ranging from $250 to $5,000. Nutmeg TU is competing in this contest with more than 40 other Trout Unlimited chapters from across the country.

“We’re excited to have the chance to raise even more money to restore and improve the Mill River in the Embrace A Stream Challenge,” said Rich Rosen, Nutmeg TU president. “But we need the help of all of our community members to win. If you care about clean water, and share our love for the Mill River, please help our more than 300 local members and volunteers by donating to this important project.”

The Mill River Conifer Revetment Project will focus on a section of stream that runs along Congress Street in Fairfield, where the river is more than 40 feet wide in some places, when it should average 15 feet. TU volunteers and their partners will narrow the stream channel and stabilize the banks using conifer revetments to prevent future erosion and ensure that the stream at the site and downstream can support excellent trout habitat.

The Mill River is currently home to some of the highest densities of wild and native trout in the state, but TU and other experts believe that the fishery can support even more trout with habitat improvement. Pending before state officials is a regulation change that would make the stretch a catch-and-release only area dedicated to wild trout.

The site is near the Merritt Parkway and a heavily used service area, and frequently needs litter removal in addition to replacing invasive species with native fauna, which Nutmeg TU has been doing, in cooperation with the Town of Fairfield, for four years.

Embrace A Stream is a matching grant program administered by Trout Unlimited that provides funds to local chapters and councils for coldwater fisheries conservation. Since its inception in 1975, the grant program has funded more than 1,000 individual projects for a total of $4.4 million in direct cash grants. Local chapters and councils contributed an additional $13 million in cash and in-kind services to EAS funded projects, for a total investment of more than $17 million. The Embrace A Stream Challenge is a new national online contest sponsored by Orvis and Trout Unlimited to connect people who care with a chance to support improvements to the rivers and streams in their communities.

“This year, more than 40 local Trout Unlimited chapters from across the country have brought forward plans to take care of the rivers that they love to fish,” said Russ Meyer, chairman of the Embrace A Stream grants committee, a group of Trout Unlimited volunteers who review and approve all grant applications. “The Embrace A Stream Challenge gives everyone in your community the chance to join us in supporting this important local project.”

The Nutmeg Chapter of Trout Unlimited serves more than 300 members in Southwestern Connecticut. Nutmeg TU works with partners to restore local rivers, engage area youth in outdoor education and protect trout streams that are a mere stone’s throw from Manhattan, specifically the towns of Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton,  Redding, Trumbull, Monroe, Bridgeport, Stratford, Milford and Shelton.

Nutmeg TU meetings are held the third Tuesday of every month, September through May, at Port 5, 69 Brewster St., in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. They are open to the public free of charge. The Nov. 21 meeting features Greg Myerson, who holds the world record for the largest striped bass.

Trout Unlimited is the nation’s largest coldwater conservation organization, with more than 300,000 members and supporters dedicated to conserving, protecting, and restoring North America’s trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. Visit TU online at tu.org.